Aug 05, Colombo: Minister of Port and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe today presented the Hambantota port agreement the Sri Lankan government recently signed with China to the Chief Prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters in Kandy when he called on the Chief Prelates today.
The objective of the Minister's visit is to clarify the issues pertaining to the signing of the agreement.
The Minister assured the prelates that the agreement will not hand over any land to the Chinese and the port is leased for 99 years.
Speaking to media after the meeting Minister Samarasinghe said he handed over the agreement to the Chief Prelates on the directives of President Maithripala Sirisena to clarify the issues and seek advice of the prelates.
The Minister said that under the agreement the Sri Lanka Port Authority does not have to pay the debt to the Chinese from now and the government can save Rs. 9 billion a year, which can be used to grant benefits for the port employees and to develop the other ports in the country.